Travelling domestically has just gotten easier, thanks to a further easing of travel restrictions. As of Wednesday [November 25], domestic travellers will not have to complete a previously mandatory health-based questionnaire before boarding a flight.

Since domestic flights resumed in May, Port Health Services has been conducting screenings at domestic departures. Travellers were subject to filling in a mandatory questionnaire on their health status and possible contact with others who may have tested positive for COVID-19. Those with confirmed symptoms of COVID-19 would be prevented from flying.

The Domestic Port Health Screenings that domestic travellers were subject to countrywide is no longer required as of midnight on Tuesday, November 24. However, screenings will still apply for international travel.

“Although the outbreak is still ongoing, the current reports on the outbreak indicate that most provinces are reporting lower number of cases when compared to the numbers reported during the peak of the outbreak,” the Department of Health said in a statement.

“The re-opening of international travel has resulted in the need to redirect the port health capacity to international travel to ensure the risk of importation of cases is minimised. The Department has therefore taken a decision to withdraw the implementation of domestic screening by Port Health officials at all International Airports.

“It should however be noted that in line with the Disaster Management Regulations and applicable Directions, Airport Authorities are still expected to ensure compliance with COVID-19 protocols within their environment, including ensuring all persons entering the terminal buildings are screened, sanitised and are wearing masks,” they concluded.

According to Mango, Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) will continue with temperature screening checks accordingly for airport entry, also only allowing entry to those with the applicable paperwork for a flight.  Travel permits will no longer be required for all travel.

Due to the extra regulatory and safety protocols required, travellers are advised to plan for extra time for their flight journeys. Please arrive at least two-and-half hours prior to your flight as a contingency for any unforeseen delays.

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